BAA profit rise triggered by Heathrow growth

City A.M. Reporter
Airport operator BAA posted a 15 per cent rise in first-quarter profit as it squeezed more growth from its capacity-constrained London Heathrow hub.

BAA, which is part owned by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial, reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of £231.2m in the three months to the end of March on sales 11.5 per cent higher at £537m.

The company said 15.7m passengers passed through Heathrow - Europe's busiest airport - during the period, up 4.4 per cent on the same period last year.

"Heathrow remains resilient in a challenging economic environment," BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said.

"Whilst traditional markets like the US continue to perform well, the UK's capacity constraints prevent Heathrow from adding new routes to the emerging economies which are so vital for trade and investment."

BAA said it had completed the transition to long-term capital markets financing platform and had raised £2.2bn in new financing since the start of 2012.

Traffic at BAA's London Stansted airport, however, fell 5.3 per cent to 3.5m passengers.